Privacy Awareness Week Part II- Get in the know and get privacy right

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham, and Stephanie Mayhew

With the cyber threat landscape significantly evolving, we are seeing companies – large and small – experience attacks. Recent high-profile attacks have shown that these breaches are alarming, targeting a range of sectors. With millions of Australians more concerned about their privacy than ever before, the federal government is making privacy a priority with the Attorney-General’s Department recently releasing 116 recommendations to amend the Privacy Act. The federal government has also made proposals to consider a new Cyber Security Act and strengthen existing laws around this space. 

The Australian Information Commissioner, Angelene Falk has acknowledged that “organisations should take appropriate and proactive steps to protect against and respond to a range of cyber threats”. This is echoed in this week’s Privacy Awareness Week Theme: Back to Basics, where the OAIC stresses to be aware of your basic privacy obligations!

This can be tricky to navigate in an evolving reform environment, particularly when 116 proposals have been made for reform of the Privacy Act without further clarity as to when those may or may not eventuate.

We recommend your organisation do the following to keep up to date with the reforms:

  • subscribe to a privacy publication that will keep you up to date with all of t;he latest reforms and what’s important to your organisation (such as our blog)
  • monitor the Attorney General Department’s Privacy Act Review Report page for further updates, and
  • monitor the OAIC’s newsroom for any media releases about updates on the reform.

In the meantime, your organisation could be anticipating some of the more likely reforms and ensuring your organisation isn’t just ‘ticking a box’ but actively considering how individuals would expect their personal information to be handled.

There really is no better time than now to ensure your organisation is getting the privacy basics right.

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